That “Someday” Thing

Someday, I’d like to finish my fantasy novel, and then follow that up by self-publishing it and promoting it myself starting with an electronic version and perhaps moving to a paper version.

Someday, I’d like to move forward on a long-planned series of video reviews of board games and card games that my friend and I have long discussed making and posting to YouTube.

Someday, I’d like to spend some time doing volunteer work for the two charities I care about, Jump for Joel and L’Arche Tahoma Hope, using what skills I have to increase their community presence and maximize the donations they receive.

Someday, I’d like to travel internationally with my family and show my children that the world is a beautiful and varied place.

Someday.

Pretty much every one of us has a “someday” or two on our list of things we’d love to do. They’re big things that would require a lot of time and planning. They’re things that seem incredibly exciting and compelling to us, but present some tremendous obstacles along the way.

Because those obstacles seem so daunting in our day-to-day lives right now, we simply think about these things as “someday” things. They enter into our daydreams, but we don’t take any real forward action toward them.

My Experience Reaching a “Someday”
Several years ago, my “someday” thing was being able to write full time for a living which would allow me to be at home for my children without travel and with extreme schedule flexibility.

At that time, I had a full time job in a field that was largely completely separate from writing. I had a very technical desk job that required some travel and also required my attention outside of office hours on a very regular basis. I also had a wife and a young child at home.

How did I make that “someday” dream a reality? Simply put, I started sacrificing my evenings and (quite often) my weekends to making that “someday” a reality. Instead of coming home and vegetating in front of a television show or a video game or just curling up with a book, I would spend several hours setting up, writing articles for, and promoting The Simple Dollar.

Simply put, I made that “someday” dream a priority of my free and leisure time and of my free and leisure money.

The amazing part was that once I got the project moving forward and got used to the routine of working on it, the project itself became really rewarding. Because it was something I had wanted to do for so long and it was so intrinsically tied to something I deeply enjoyed as a person (writing), the day-to-day work was incredibly fun even when I had very few readers and was making very little money with it.

The finanical rewards weren’t the real rewards. The process itself and the enjoyment I got from it was the real reward.

Reaching Your “Someday”
This brings us back to your “somedays” and mine. If you want to make these things come true, you have to start looking at your day-to-day time decisions with a discerning eye.

What’s more important to you? That “someday” dream or a new episode of The Big Bang Theory? Getting started on that big project you dream of or napping on the couch? Your big project or yet another shopping trip to the same old stores?

At the start of this month, I made a commitment to start on one of my “someday” projects and carry it forward to a conclusion. This means, for me, giving up some of the things I’d been filling my spare time with lately. It’s been challenging, but it’s been deeply rewarding at the same time.

What “someday” could you get started on starting today? Choose one that’s tied deeply to something you already enjoy doing, something that just channels it into a new direction. Let that “someday” fill your spare time.

Eventually, you may just find yourself on a new path, living your dreams.

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  1. Steven says:

    Someday I’d like to stand at the North Pole. And someday, I will…

  2. Vicky says:

    I know this is really lame, but the phrase ‘simply put’ being used over, and over, and sometimes multiple times in a post? Very obnoxious.

  3. krantcents says:

    I avoid someday things by putting them on my list. It changes it from someday to very likely within a year item

  4. chuck says:

    trent didn’t you already post this idea? sounds very familar to a recent post.

  5. Nick Thacker says:

    Mmmm Trent, this post is TASTY!

    I have been thinking about this very thing SO much lately, as I’ve struggled quite a bit with David Allen’s (Getting Things Done) “Someday” bucket–I like to know, or at least have an idea–of when I can expect projects to be finished, and “someday” certainly isn’t very detailed.

    Anyway, great post! Also, since I never mentioned it–great book! I picked it up recently, and my wife and I have really enjoyed it!

    Thanks,
    Nick

  6. Brittany says:

    For the past two years (while work 60-85 hour weeks), my someday dream was to have more leisure time to sit around being lazy with people I care about, veg out to the occasional TV show, and have free evening where I didn’t have to come home and work more. Got it now, and I think I’ll be content with what I have in the present moment for a few more months than with chasing new dreams every second. Sometimes, it’s okay to just let life happen and enjoy it.

  7. Katie says:

    Why is Big Bang Theory always the go to example of a waste-of-time show in these posts? I mean, I’m not saying it’s high art, but . . . .

  8. lurker carl says:

    A “Big Bang Theory” query, does art imitate life in the Hamm household? Enquiring minds want to know!

  9. Good post and I like #3 krantcents response. I’m so grateful that I have done so many of my someday things that I need to start a new list.

  10. Vanessa says:

    @#4 Chuck

    You may be remembering the post titled “Dreams: Big and Little” from a month ago. He mentions Big, Bang, Theory in it also.

  11. Tom says:

    @2 Vicky – I never noticed until people started complaining about it. Now the phrase annoys me, but I’m equally annoyed that commenters brought it to my attention. I believe the phrase is part of his “voice,” sorry you find it irritating.

  12. valleycat1 says:

    Tom, perhaps you haven’t read his book. He repeats the phrase within paragraphs on almost every page. To the point I never finished the book.

  13. Andrew says:

    Comment about “simply put” was shuffled off to moderation, where it will no doubt sit forever.

    Trent needs a good editor, who would take this slightly more literate version of “ya know” and eliminate it every time it showed up.

  14. When I get spare time I’ll be happy to start using it to fulfill what I really want to be doing!

    FWIW, I love “The Big Bang Theory”. Mostly because I’ve hung around guys like that pretty much my whole life. :-)

  15. southcampus says:

    yes, Trent,
    someday comes and then there are other things that need our attention. I guess my philosophy is enough the present to its full extent and plan for the future, the best we can. Thanks

  16. Tracy says:

    Well, and part of the problem I personally have with Trent’s ‘simply put’ isn’t just that he uses it far too often – it’s that he often uses it incorrectly. And there’s just no excuse for a professional writer to be that sloppy.

  17. ejw says:

    I used to love this blog and looked forward to it everyday. It didn’t bother me that I didn’t always agree with it, but I’m really tired of the overuse and incorrect use of ‘simply put’ as well to the point that I’ve stopped avidly reading it and end up deleting more of them than I read these days. I’m also fed up with the overuse of the word ‘deeply’. I do still like to read the comments, but I’ve noticed that the number of people commenting has really dropped off…

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